6 Reasons Why You Need an Employee Volunteering Policy

Have you joined the growing number of companies that offer VTO—Volunteering Time Off? 60% of companies offer employees paid time off for volunteering, and another 21% of companies plan to implement a program by 2024. What’s all the hubbub about? The basic premise is simple: You compensate employees at their regular rate for volunteering during work hours for a worthy cause in their community. Some companies offer up to 60 paid hours per year, but most start smaller—with as few as 8 hours per year. VTO is easy to administer and well worth the investment. It’s a win-win-win proposition—for the organization receiving the volunteer assistance, for the employees who are rewarded for helping others, and for the company overall.

1. Today’s Workers Want Social Change

Millennials and Gen Zs, who by 2025 will make up 60% of the US workforce, are more socially conscious than past generations. They believe in their individual power to make a difference, and they are demanding that businesses and governments do their part to help build a better future. (Forbes, 2021). In addition, 44% of Millennials and 49% of Gen Zs surveyed said that over the past two years, they have made choices about the types of work they would do—and the organizations they’d be willing to work for—based on their personal values. At the same time, fewer than half of these generations believe that businesses are having a positive impact on society. The message is clear: Companies that promote socially driven initiatives will have an edge when it comes to hiring and retaining this growing segment of the workforce.

2. You’ll Foster Camaraderie

A volunteering program benefits your entire team, especially when you encourage the sharing of individual volunteer experiences in a team meeting or other venue. A group volunteering day—when the whole team spends a day or half a day working together for a good cause—fosters esprit de corps and can be a fun way to interact with coworkers and get everyone involved. Need more convincing? A 2021 Boston College study showed that 96% of companies say employees who volunteer are more engaged, and we know that higher engagement means higher productivity and more profit.

3. Your Customers Will Notice

Employees are not the only ones who want to see companies drive positive social and environmental change. 80% of consumers want the businesses they patronize to be good corporate citizens. Your commitment to a volunteering program demonstrates this in a very tangible way. Although this kind of brand enhancement should not be the driver of your volunteering program, it is certainly a positive outcome.

4. It’s a Great Learning Experience

Whether you spend your time volunteering by reading to children, serving meals to the homeless, or picking up trash at a local park, you are guaranteed to come away with a new perspective and perhaps some insights on just how much one can accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. You might even discover talents you didn’t know you had: Habitat for Humanity will get you started building a house even if you’ve never even hung a picture on a wall!

5. It Feels Good!

Volunteering can boost self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. For those who are more outgoing, it can be fun to meet other like-minded volunteers. Those who are more socially reserved may find that volunteering is a great opportunity to practice social skills in a supportive environment.

6. It’s the Right Thing to Do

For all of the benefits that volunteering offers, the best reason to have a volunteering program is because you’ll be helping individuals or groups that truly need it. So many organizations rely on volunteers in order to keep their social programs running. You can show your appreciation for the community that supports your business by giving your time and talents to those in need.

How Do I Set Up My Volunteer Program?

Setting up your VTO program isn’t difficult. In the next blog, we’ll talk about how to get started and provide some suggestions for making your VTO launch successful.

VTO is easy to administer, well worth the investment, And Is a win-win-win proposition

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